The media is guilty of pushing certain ideas about beauty upon all of us. Our impressionable children are influenced by these airbrushed, retouched, ridiculously unrealistic images of what beauty is. Recently, shocking photos of teenage models featured in an advertisement for Target Retail Stores were mistakenly run when the editing of the size of their thighs and arms were obviously altered.
What does this say about our culture? We are obsessed with certain unhealthy beauty concepts and this negatively affects all of us. Why else would we feel the need to shoot up our faces with Botox, fill our lips with collagen, and endure surgeries that promise to make us appear younger and thinner. How can we help our children develop healthy ideas about what beauty truly is in the midst of this madness? Here are my ideas:
- Share books with them that feature characters from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
- Watch movies that contain messages about moral character--and how beauty can radiate from within a person, no matter what their physical being looks like.
- Talk about character traits such as kindness, compassion and empathy and how these traits can make a person beautiful.
- Expose children to beauty in art, architecture, dance, theater, music, poetry and nature.
- Embrace your own beauty. Smile and laugh everyday, and realize that feeling joyful is beautiful.
- Limit exposure to magazines and television shows that glorify shallow and inhumane messages that objectify people.